AN IRISH TEEN has revealed how she started a business with her Communion and Confirmation money – and now it’s worth six figures.
Shannon Conlon, 17, launched her workout wear company Gym Chic in December 2020 with the aim of keeping it busy during lockdown.
Now, just over a year later, the 5th year student has achieved more than six figures in sales, all thanks to her hard work, advertising the company on ICT Tac.
Speaking about how her idea came about, Shannon said: “It was towards the end of third year when we first went into lockdown and I didn’t know if the Junior Cert was going to take place there. ‘era.
“My dad was preparing me for transition year because a lot of people are complaining that there isn’t much to do at TY, so he suggested I start getting involved in business.
“I started running ads on Facebook for his business which gave me experience in social media and marketing and that gave me the idea. I started to search youtube what was the easiest way to start a business for myself.”
Shannon noticed a gap in the market for colorful and affordable sportswear for teens, so she came up with the idea for Gym Chic.
After creating the website using the Shopify e-commerce platform, she then decided to invest her own money in buying stocks.
So she dipped into her savings fund from her communion and her confirmation.
She said: “The likes of Lululemon are in a really high price range, so I wanted to find something affordable, and I think because a lot of these sportswear business owners are a bit older , I feel like they don’t really know what teenagers want.
“I started conceiving ideas on my ipad of what the sets might look like, with the blues and the pinks. Then I started buying the shares, I had old confirmation and communion money I had in my account, so I invested that in the business.
After launching her Gym Chic account on TikTok, Shannon recalls earning over €4,000 in one day.
It took off so quickly that she had to stop taking online orders.
Today, she says she has sold more than €100,000 worth of products, including leggings, sports bras and shorts.
The business-savvy teenager, from Kilmacud, County Dublin, bought a new iPhone 12 pro and splashed £100 on a handbag to celebrate her business success.
INVESTING IN COMPANIES
But the rest she plans to reinvest in the business.
She said: “I medicate from time to time but it’s all there to go back into the business so I’m very careful as I know business can be unreliable.”
Incredibly, this isn’t Shannon’s first time starting a business.
The nine-year-old was selling friendship bracelets in her schoolyard for €2 each.
Now Shannon runs Gym Chic, completely solo, modeling for the site and designing the products all by herself.
His parents, his friends and even his teachers support his parallel work.
LEAVING THE CERT
But for now, his studies come first.
The 17-year-old will sit on Leaving Cert next year and despite her Gym Chic products flying off the shelves, she still plans to go to college and study law.
She said: “Now that I’m in fifth grade, it’s tough but it’s steady at the moment, sales are on and off, I’m just trying to keep it going sideways.
“I would like to study law because I think I would like to have a degree behind me, but I also want to continue working on my business at university.”
As orders continue to pour in, Shannon says she would like to expand the business even further and release an eco-friendly clothing line.
She also wants to inspire other young people so that they too can realize their dreams and start a business.
She added: “I would love to release more ranges and have an eco range, or something to do with charity work, involved in my business, I want to do something where I can give back. I’ve been brainstorming a few ideas, so we’ll see.